Determining which South African supermarket is the biggest depends on which factor you want to measure by.
Shoprite, with a pan-African operation is by far the biggest seller, bringing in revenue exceeding R130 billion in 2016, and it is also the biggest profit-spinner with operating profit of R7.2 billion recorded for the same year.
But if you measure “biggest” by store network, then Spar is by far the largest, with 3,765 stores across the group – and 2,033 in South Africa alone. This is far larger than Shoprite’s 1,519 stores across Africa.
If you are looking at the average profit for each store, Massmart (Makro, Dion Wired, Game) has the biggest per-store take, with an average of R6 million in profit at each of its 412 stores.
Shoprite is also the biggest employer among the major retailers – staffing close to 138,000 people across its operations – but it also pays the lowest average salary. Here, again, players like Massmart and even Spar, come in as ‘better’ employers.
Delving into the finances of South Africa’s biggest supermarket retailers, the tables below show how each group measures up when looking at these various metrics.
The data below reflects group operations, including stores and employees in countries outside of South Africa. All subsidiary brands of the groups are included.
The data below reflects the latest full year financial information available for 2016, and can be found here:
- Pick n Pay – FY ended February 2017
- Massmart – FY ended December 2016
- Spar – FY ended September 2016
- Woolworths – FY ended June 2016
- Shoprite – FY ended June 2016
Revenue and operating profit
|Shoprite||R130.028 billion||R7.278 billion|
|Woolworths||R66.978 billion||R6.969 billion|
|Spar||R90.700 billion||R2.600 billion|
|Massmart||R91.250 billion||R2.483 billion|
|Pick n Pay||R77.500 billion||R1.774 billion|
Number of stores and average turnover / profit per store
Spar far outnumbers other retailers in South Africa, with total group stores (including those in Ireland and Switzerland) hitting 3,765. Even taking only the South African stores (2,033), it is the largest retailer.
Spar’s South African stores account for the biggest portion of the group profit (R2.1 billion), which is the amount reflected below.
|Supermarket||Number of stores||Average profit per store|
|Woolworths||1 395||R4.99 million|
|Shoprite||1 519||R4.79 million|
|Pick n Pay||1 504||R1.18 million|
|Spar||2 033||R1.03 million|
Number of employees and average salary per employee
The average salaries below reflect the rand value paid to all employees across the entire group – including operations outside of South Africa.
|Supermarket||Number of employees||Employee salaries||Average salary per employee|
|Massmart||13 139||R7.3 billion||R555 597|
|Spar||6 387||R3.422 billion||R535 775|
|Woolworths||43 140||R8.850 billion||R205 146|
|Pick n Pay||52 900*||R5.597 billion||R105 803|
|Shoprite||137 775||R10.356 billion||R75 166|
* Reflects Pick n Pay employee numbers as at June 2016
Executive pay listed below is total remuneration including basic salary and short and long-term incentives. The salary gaps reflect how many more times executives earn than the average employee in their company.
|Supermarket||CEO||CEO pay||Average employee wage gap|
|Shoprite||Whitey Basson||R100.1 million||1 331|
|Pick n Pay||Richard Brasher||R33.8 million||319|
|Woolworths||Ian Moir||R53.7 million||262|
|Massmart||Guy Hayward||R13.8 million||25|
|Spar||Graham O’Connor||R9.1 million||17|